Monday, August 24, 2015

A Stench Reminiscent Of Days Gone By

I’m starting to “Feel the Bern.”

Maybe it’s because Bernie Sanders’ message and genuine persona resonate with me. Or maybe it’s because I’m simply growing tired of the nonsense coming out of the Clinton Campaign.
The media firestorm that has engulfed the Clinton campaign over “Emailgate” continues to burn. Try as she might, the candidate can’t seem to stop herself from adding more fuel to an already raging inferno.

The Clinton Campaign, tired of being beat up in the press over her use of a personal server to store her government emails, decided to take the offensive. The candidate held what turned out to be a prickly press conference. A combative Clinton reasserted her defense that she did nothing wrong and that she never sent nor received emails “marked classified” via her personal email account. She concluded the session dismissing any negative effects the email inquiry may have had on her campaign; insinuating that the general public wasn’t interested: “No one is asking about this except you guys.” At the same time her surrogates were taking to the news broadcasts and delivering the same message. “Nothing to see here.”

Unfortunately for Mrs. Clinton, the Obama Justice Department has flagged 305 emails that they consider sensitive enough to deserve further investigation.
Reuters has reported that emails received via a Freedom of Information inquiry document numerous pieces of substantive correspondence with foreign officials and heads of state. Though not marked specifically as “classified” they are documents of a sensitive nature whose preservation one might argue is ill suited for an unsecured private server.

And then there is the matter of the State Department and its culpability in all of this. One has to wonder why then Secretary of State Clinton was permitted to use an unsecured personal server to house her emails. Why didn’t the State Department…or the White House for that matter… demand that she follow White House protocols and use the government email account/server as required of all federal employees.

Both the State Department and the White House have been suspiciously reluctant to comment.

Secretary of State John Kerry was asked about his predecessor’s use of a personal email account to conduct official business. Kerry, who uses the government provided email account to conduct his government business, just shrugged as if it didn’t make any difference: “I expect the Russians and the Chinese have already hacked into my emails as well.” Apparently keeping our sensitive information safe isn’t worth torpedoing the party’s leading candidate for president.

There are those that have compared this email controversy to the depressing days of Watergate. Some would consider that pandering to score political points. I won’t go there.

But I will say this. Throughout their decades of public service, Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill have demonstrated a ”Nixonesque” revulsion for the press and an anal retentive obsession with their personal privacy; while operating under the theory that rules are merely suggestions and compliance is merely a choice.

How else does one explain why Secretary Clinton, in clear defiance of a White House directive, made the conscious decision to archive her email correspondence, not a secure government server, but on a personal server kept in her home. How else does one explain why she elected to back up that server, not via one of the fifteen government approved/secure vendors, but an off book mom and pop operation out of Chicago; who backed up her sensitive correspondence on a server stored in the linen closet of the owner’s apartment. Is there any reason to make these conscious decisions other than to control the data and thwart any press inquiries through the Freedom of Information Act? There may not be anything illegal to see here. However Clinton's lack of good judgement speaks volumes.

I don’t know if this situation is comparable to Watergate…but there is a stench here that is reminiscent of those days gone by.

That’s why I’m starting to “Feel the Bern.”

I’m hopeful that Vice President Biden will enter the race as well. Win or lose Biden will bring a breath of fresh air to a campaign that could certainly stand a bit of “airing out.”

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